Saturday, September 21, 2013

Treating Depression With Tricyclic Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants were the first antidepressants and were introduced to the psychiatric community towards the end of the 1950s. They are also the first choice of drug prescribed for people with major depression. Since their introduction their track record for helping relieve and treat the symptoms of depression is well established.

Tricyclic antidepressants work by blocking the reuptake of two monoamine transmitters, norepinephrine and serotonin, by neurons. The effects of these transmitters are intensified because of the blockage of the reuptake by the tricyclics. This mechanism is consistent with the monoamine hypothesis of depression, which asserts that depression stems from a deficiency in monoamine-mediated transmission and hence should be relieved by drugs that can intensify monoamine effects

It is important to understand that blockade of reuptake, by itself, cannot fully account for therapeutic effects. This occurs for two reasons. The clinical responses to the tricyclic antidepressants which is the relief of the depressive symptoms and the biochemical effects which block the transmitter reuptake do not happen at the same time.

The tricyclic antidepressants begin blocking transmitter uptake within hours of taking them but the relief of the depressive symptoms can take several weeks to fully develop. The reasons for this delay in relief of symptoms are not fully understood but it is thought that in the interval between the onset of the uptake blockade and the therapeutic response that intermediary neurochemical events are taking place.

Tricyclic antidepressants are the preferred drug of choice for people with major depression. These medicines can elevate mood, increase activity and alertness, decrease morbid preoccupation, improve appetite, and normalize sleep patterns. They have also been shown to be effective during the depressive episodes of bipolar disorder.

There are a series of side affects that those who take tricyclic antidepressants need to be aware of as some of them can have life threatening affects. These side affects include:

1. Orthostatic Hypotension - This is a drop in blood pressure as you stand up which can cause dizziness and lightheadedness. This can be minimized by moving slowly when moving to an upright posture.

2. Anticholinergic Affects - These can be dry mouth, blurred vision, photophobia, constipation, urinary hesitancy, and tachycardia.

3. Diaphoresis - This is sweating for no known reason. Why these medications cause this is unknown.

4. Sedation - Because tricyclics blockade histamine receptors in the central nervous system patients can experience different levels of sedation.

5. Cardiac Toxicity - Tricyclics can adversely affect cardiac function. However, in the absence of an overdose or a preexisting heart condition, serious effects are rare. To minimize the risk of heart problems all patients who are prescribed tricyclics should have an electrocardiogram evaluation before they begin treatment.

6. Seizures - Because tricyclics increase the chance of seizure patients with epilepsy or other seizure disorders must be monitored carefully.

7. Hypomania - This is a condition in which the depression symptoms are turned 180 degrees and mild mania develops. If this occurs it needs to be determined if this is caused by the medication or is the result of bipolar disorder.

Tricyclic antidepressants are also an overdose risk. It only takes approximately 8 times the daily dose for life threatening effects to occur. Because of this risk all acutely depressed people should not be given more than a one week supply.

How A Psychiatrist Should Conduct The Treatment Of A Patient Of Severe Depression

Depression has been accepted as a notable symptom of misbalanced mental health characterized by a feeling of dejection, low mood and aversion towards all types of activities that starts to affect the person's behavior, thought patterns, feelings as well as state of his health. A depressed person may become totally withdrawn and catatonic. Severe form of depression requires immediate medical attention, as it is taken to be one of the basic reasons for the rising number of suicide. A severely depressed patient needs to be treated with utmost care and respect. Such patients can be despondent and panicky. It is an utterly fallacious idea to think that such a person can be slighted or treated in a neglectful way, which does even greater harm to him, causing him to feel totally worthless. The first thing that a psychiatrist must do is to start with adopting caring attitude towards the patient. He should also determine and explain the nature of depression to the patient who needs to be convinced that his present state is the outcome of an imbalance in the brain and that it can happen to anyone. The psychiatrist should start the treatment by prescribing some antidepressants.

It is also imperative for the psychiatrist to make his patient aware of the side effects of these medicines, which can be at times severe and upsetting. They are slow to produce action and can sometimes worsen the depressive state. The patient often gets deterred from using these medications, being appalled by the side-effects, so he might need a lot of encouragement to continue his medicines.

The psychiatrist should also schedule at least one meeting with that particular patient in the course of a week. The handling of such patient demands patience and calm on the part of the doctor. There are cases where the medication shows reverse effect by strengthening suicidal tendencies and worsening the patient's mental condition. Such patient needs much assurance regarding the hope of recovery. It is commendable if some supportive friend or relative accompanies the patient to the doctor's chamber. That person can be updated about the condition of the patient as well as act as a support-offering pillar for the patient.

The psychiatrist must lend a willing ear to listen to the patient when he talks about the side-effects. Although these effects will diminish over time, but they are painful and real for the patient, so it might be necessary to strongly reinforce the positive results of the medication. It is incumbent for the psychiatrist to closely monitor the depression symptoms of the patient and inform the patient about the progress he is making in terms of proceeding towards cure. This will definitely act as a positive reinforcement for the patient and will encourage him to stay on the medication. If it happens that the patient is refusing to take the medicines, it might become necessary to make arrangements for his hospitalization. If the patient becomes hell-bent on not taking medicine, sometimes even the mere mention of hospitalization can make him resume his medicines and continue his status as an outpatient.

As soon as the antidepressants begin to display their effects, this fact alone should act as a glimmer of hope for the doctor. Psychiatrist should encourage the patients to talk about the topics that happen to depress him. The patient might still feel diffident, shaky and panicky which might be taken care of by providing counseling. The shakiness and nervousness that he feels should be treated as an integral part of the state of depression and hope and encouragement can be affected in terms of psychotherapy.

The psychiatrist should be available for the patient around the corner until he recovers completely and visits should be scheduled with long interval in between. The bottomline of the treatment of depression is to create the impression in the mind of the patient that it is a curable condition and they can regain the sense of personal worth and dignity. The most important thing is that the treatment should orient the patient towards the belief that they capable of coping with life and to be self-sufficient once again.

Recharge And Balance As You Mourn

"It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds... "
Thomas Aquinas

The pain and suffering inflicted by a great loss, though necessary and inescapable, deplete physical and emotional energy on a daily basis. The turmoil is inescapable because we have chosen to love. Therefore, it is essential that as part of your mourning rituals and grief work to plan specific times for replenishing energy stores by finding ways to allow mind and body to unwind. I am not advocating trying to sidestep the pain of grief. We all have to face it and feel it go through us.

However, balancing the pain with periods of recharging is an absolutely essential coping strategy in dealing with your great loss. I repeat, it is part of coping well. Otherwise, it is a surefire thing that you will develop some kind of physical illness, increase intense emotional suffering, or both. Begin immediately to compile a list of what I call "balancing activities," things you normally enjoy doing. Compile the list over a week or two as you remember some pleasant activities.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with pampering yourself as you mourn. Sure, like anything else it can be overdone. But it is critical that you allow it into your thinking as a normal need when grieving the death of your loved one. I'm not talking about taking an expensive trip or overspending but each day choosing from a list of small pleasures to engage in. You will not be demeaning the memory of your loved one by doing so. Here are some things to consider for your balancing list.

1. Draw on the treasure house of your imagination and memory to think back on your childhood days. What were the things that delighted you? What were your interests? Can you bring them back into this stage of your life? Take the time to do this in a quiet and peaceful place. If you liked painting, drawing, photography, tending the garden or going to museums, etc. decide to pick up on an old interest and run with it. Admit to yourself that you need to change in order to adapt. Finding an old interest (or a new one) is a place to start.

2. Use your smartphone, computer, or iPad to find pleasing quotes or pleasant music (if appropriate, music your loved one liked) to play that soothes or inspires. Create your own playlist. Give yourself a generous dose of your favorite tunes at various times during the day. It is well known that music has positive effects on brain function and blood circulation as it helps fight stress.

3. Feed your spiritual self. Start talking and listening to God every day. Listening is as important as talking. Take a prayer walk in your favorite nature setting and get some sun. Twenty minutes of sunshine, without sunscreen, will also fill your daily requirement for Vitamin D3. This vitamin not only strengthens bones and joints but helps build up your immunity and make inroads on depression.

4. Take a refreshment break at your favorite smoothie store, coffee shop, or health food store. You will end up being around people. And if you become a regular you are bound to interact and enjoy some good conversations. Decide where you are more likely to find friends after several visits and then favor one location over others. Also consider trying new places over time. Make a refreshment break one of your new routines.

5. Take out a membership at a local gym. Every other day, take a very light, or if you prefer, a heavy workout. This could turn out to be one of those new routines that will bring you better health and some new friends. Ask one of the instructors to suggest a good stress release technique you can start practicing. Here's one I recommend. It is called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). Go to for a free download manual. Get to know yourself better.

6. Be open to giving and receiving hugs. Human touch is so important to how we feel about ourselves and what it does for good health. And the science is there to prove it. At the close of every grief support seminar I conduct, I ask participants to give the person next to them a hug. It always turns out that everyone ends up hugging everyone else. Never forget, touch possesses one of the greatest resources for restoring energy. It never fails.

7. Start a telephone group as part of your Give List (A Give List is a great way to give something to someone each day and it will positively change your inner life). Find a couple of friends or relatives that you can call on a daily basis. Or make a pact with a friend you met in a support group that you will call each other every couple of days to see how things are going. Here you can trade your best kept secrets on how you are dealing with your loss.

The above are only a tiny few of the many things you can do to give yourself a break from grief. Then you can continue your grief work with renewed energy and a mind open to realizing the role you alone must play in adapting to your great loss.

Weave loving care of yourself every day and you will surely make it through the changes that must be faced.

Breakups: How to Handle the Ending of a Relationship

Facing the end of a relationship is one of the hardest things you may ever go through. This is especially true when this course of action is not what you really want. Yet, when the inevitable is staring you in the face, what are you to do?

I do believe the unwanted ending of a relationship is equivalent to a death. The difference is that with a death, there is no choice. As well, with a death, you are often allowed and encouraged to "grieve and take all the time you need." However, with the ending of a relationship, whether you were actually married or not, most often you are encouraged to "let go, forget about it, and move on with your life" with little to no actual grief time given.

If you have tried everything and there is no possible way you can save your relationship, then facing the reality of what is, is the first step. This step entails putting away the fantasy thinking of what could have been, might have been, or should have been, and really coming to peace with what is. If you are the one wanting the relationship to end, this step is not a big deal. However, if you are not the one wanting things to end, this step can be very difficult. This is so because the natural inclination is to "hold onto" or more often than not "cling onto" the relationship and the other person. Generally, this occurs because we are turning away from the current reality and refusing to accept it for a variety of reasons. These reasons could include; a desire to not fail, abandonment issues, unresolved issues from your childhood, a feeling of non-completion within the relationship, unrequited love, or just not wanting to have the person out of your life. Whatever the reason, the work entails facing what is.

Once you can accept that the relationship is over, the second step is allowing yourself time to grieve. Whether your relationship was three months or twenty-three years long, if your heart was in it, a grieving period is in order. I do not agree or support any set formulas that are out there concerning the right amount of time to grieve. I believe the process of grief is unique to each individual. Therefore, there is no right or wrong way to do this. It truly entails allowing yourself to feel the feelings. These feelings may include feelings of loss, sadness, anger, relief, frustration, and/or hopelessness. All of these are normal, just as long as they do not excessively persist and then cause a real clinical depression. There is a natural flow to the process. Once you allow yourself to feel these feelings and the actions, which normally accompany them- such as crying, moping, lying around, and acting unmotivated, you will begin to let go and heal.

The third step in this process is forgiving yourself and your partner. This step provides a great opportunity to do some self-exploration, allowing yourself to gain a deeper understanding of who you are. You could ask yourself questions like: What did I learn from this relationship?... From this learning, can I be a better partner in my next relationship?... How could I have done things differently?... What would I like to improve upon within myself?... What kind of partner will I pick next time...? Do I feel angry at my former partner or myself? From here, you do your necessary inner work and forgive. Forgive yourself, forgive your former partner, forgive the situation, and then move into the final step.

The final step is gratitude for the relationship. Finding the place within you to be grateful for the time you shared, the memories you built, the lessons learned, and for coming out of it a much deeper, richer, and stronger person. Honor it all and when you find the gratitude, you will truly be able to let it go and move on with your life.

Colon Cancer And Warning Signs That Can Mimic Other Illnesses

An alien world was revealed to us after what proved to be a fortuitous incident that left my mum void of memory for a 24 hour period. After this incident, constipation came on suddenly along with lethargy & cognitive decline. What was to ensue within the next 4 weeks was a rigmarole of memory assessments & blood tests to find the cause, which eventually was believed to be related to her anemia.

It was only upon investigation into this foreign world that I was to discover that anemia in the elderly can be symptomatic of internal bleeding that needs to be investigated. Many Google searches revealed what I did not want to believe - the link between Colon Cancer and those with anemia (low iron stores in the blood). After consultation with a Colorectal Specialist we were advised to have a Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy. At the time, it was explained that mum was a Category 1, yet the waiting list at the public hospital could not be guaranteed within 6 weeks, therefore we chose to utilise a private clinic. It took us 2 weeks from the initial consultation.

During this period we were also to stumble upon the fact that mum had been taking a well known statin drug - Lipitor, which was recently linked to new FDA guidelines issuing a warning as to having some severe side effects. These include cognitive decline and anyone with suspected renal & liver conditions to be cautiously monitored. With mum's blood tests revealing moderate renal dysfunction & the cognitive decline, I wondered if there could be a correlation? After speaking with the doctor, we decided to wash the drug out of my mum's system, even though it was doubtful as to the cause of her memory decline. (For anyone taking this drug, see FDA guidelines & consult with your practitioner prior to ceasing medication).

It was interesting to note the improvement in mum's memory throughout the period that she stopped taking the drug, irrespective of the fact that she was still classified as anemic. The recent memory lapses appeared to reduce dramatically as crosswords began to make sense again, with her even joking that she had also found her long lost sense of humor. I watched on as a silent observer as to the re-awakening of her thought processes and continued to wonder?

I will digress for a moment here and reveal the substance of an Aged Care assessment to further support how imperative it is to question and continue to seek advice and support of trusted open-minded professionals. Interestingly, my mum had formed a diagnosis of Dementia (honestly, we all had!). This was not supported by the assessment process and a clinical diagnosis of Depression was offered with a recommendation of antidepressants given. Not wanting to add another tablet to mum's regime of daily medication, our family doctor supported the decision that we would intervene and deal with the episode with family support. The pieces of the puzzle were somewhat foggy in all areas as to the cause of the memory dysfunction and mum's future.

Our conversations took many forms and were open, raw and honest as to if the inevitable was to be faced. In a matter of weeks, we traveled the road of low care Nursing Homes, Independent Living Villages all the way through to Palliative Care options. At this time mum felt that she was no longer capable of looking after herself and showed little self confidence and low self esteem. On top of it all, she had recently instigated the sale of her home after many years of procrastination. It seemed as if a hidden part of her psyche propelled her to make changes and slowly piece by piece it all began to make more sense.

I make the pun slowly, as Colon Cancer is the "slow killer" and quite often does not make its presence known until it is of adult like nature. The testing is not as intrusive as one might believe, with quite often the worst part being the Glycoprep mixture prior to the procedure, which produces a laxative effect. A tedious 48 hour period to prepare is that of low fibre dietary requirements and monitoring of blood sugar levels for those with Diabetes.

Another interesting part of this process was that my mum had little or no idea as to the terminology used, preparation required and relied upon me as her "interpreter", even surrendering to the process as I was given Medical POA. Most doctor's visits throughout this time consisted of the relaying of information between all parties. I have been given a new appreciation for any elderly person navigating this process alone or someone of foreign speaking background. If you have an elderly parent, I cannot stress enough the importance of having "an advocate" to help decipher the process with them.

Finally, a diagnosis of Bowel Cancer was given and we were told that from now on "things will happen quickly". Over the next week, more CT scans were performed to see if the cancer had metastised to any other organs. The next step was to see a Colorectal Surgeon and we were given the treatment options. The scans revealed no secondary sites. The tumour was in the caecum and a Hemicolectomy would need to be done as soon as possible. Basically, removal of the contaminated part of the bowel and then a rejoin so that a colostomy bag would not be needed. My mum often joked that she had "a good cancer" as it was on the right side, instead of the left, therefore this procedure was a more comfortable outcome. Either way, I think they both pose their own challenges to the individual and the more information primary carers & those diagnosed have to support recovery is imperative. Ask questions and if you don't remember write them down and take them to your appointments!

Surgery was booked within 4 days and the following week we arrived at the hospital. I felt as if the tables had been turned as our parental roles seemed to be in reverse. The surgery time took approximately 3 & 1/2 hours including post-op recover time. After surgery mum was groggy, yet she gave that beaming little smile of hers with a thumbs up and I immediately knew that it wasn't her time to go.

Back on her feet the very next day, I behaved like an overprotective mother as I ensured that her stockings had been put on, massaged her legs & rang friends/family to keep an ongoing support crew at her bedside (thank god for phones). Due to the high risk of clotting, patients are encouraged to walk around as soon as possible, deep breathe regularly and wear stockings when in bed. Within days mum was ready to come home with approximately 15 staples in her belly and a working bowel that she said felt little different to before. As the surgeon explained with this type of surgery, the patient finds their "new normal". Mum found hers after the first bowel motion!

Our house has now turned into an interesting daily phenomena of poos, medication and memory programs (thank god for crosswords, scrabble & resourceful teenagers). Throughout the whole journey, I have maintained an optimistic expectation and tried to visualise the outcome; the right surgeons, nurses and a speedy recovery. I even sent out prayer requests to every denomination I could find on the internet as I believe in the power of prayer to help heal!

By facing the inevitable, a magical process happened as time merged into the most important moment to moment memories. The laughter throughout this time was almost constant, support never far away and tears let go as needed. We spent many hours dealing with the process of our very own family sitcom as a multitude of synchronistic events played out. Laughter is definitely a healer!

Being of a holistic nature, I believe that it is imperative to address all facets of one's disease & lifestyle. In my mum's case, we addressed lifestyle and social support (she now lives with my daughter and I) In addition, with the doctor's support we have modified the statins as we do believe based on observation that they were partially responsible for the memory decline, in conjunction with the low levels of iron in her blood. She now takes iron tablets and will have blood tests to rule out any future onset of this disease, further scans and a Colonoscopy in one year's times to check that no polyps (small lumps in the bowel) have formed. In conjunction, I believe the key factors are: proper nutrition, regular exercise, ongoing monitoring and social support. Ironically, mum has no signs or symptoms of Depression anymore.

I believe in looking at the process of dis-ease as a journey, forget the destination and life can take on new meaning. It is simply as the word states, a dis-ease within the body that needs attention. Avoid powerful words of suggestion and speak in positive realistic terms, internally and externally. The mind is a powerful tool that can and will talk itself into and out of anything. I am not advocating living in denial but simply mapping the journey as positively as you can with limited stress to all involved. If you have an elderly parent who is over 55, it is worthwhile to screen for Colon cancer periodically, as it is the number one cancer in the elderly that is curable, if treated early.

I wonder if I had not asked questions and just accepted the waiting list for testing as to whether this outcome would have been so positive. Thankfully, the tumor was removed along with 14 lymph nodes; all of which were negative. The follow up was with an Oncologist who advised that there is only a 10% chance that it will return and given mum's age she has a higher chance of dying from other unrelated illnesses. If chemotherapy was to be used for 6 months it would only reduce the chance by 1% & reduce quality of life, therefore we have decided to continue on this journey with a light heart, lots of laughter, support and gratitude for what we have right here and now. I'll keep you updated.

Stop Your Depression Now - Depression Busting Tools Reviewed

"Stop Your Depression Now" reviewed.

Sharon Schurman a Retired Clinical Counselor reveals the 'Secrets Successful Psychiatrists and Psychologists Don't Want You to Know' in her book: "Stop Your Depression Now".

Testimonials from readers say the ebook is "easy to read" and "we finally got the answers we needed" which sum up the practical approach of this book.

Sharon has spent her life treating depressed families, individuals, and corporate clients. Now she's sharing these years of experience with you through the pages of this book.

"Stop Your Depression Now!" is described as the complete solution for anyone who wants to overcome his or her depression. She states that she has helped hundreds of patients using the techniques in the book.

What is different about this book that recommends it to the average person wanting some help with depression? Well you no longer have to deal with the all of the "technical" books out there that leave you asking yourself "What the heck does that mean?" Nor will you need to rely on a therapist who can charge up to thousands of dollars with questionable results. This book helps you to quickly understand your depression. And understanding your depression is said to be half of the battle.

Here are some of the benefits you'll get out of this book:

  • The Depression Indicator Test will show if you are depressed and then find out what you can do about it. When you quickly identify which type of depression affects you, you'll save hundreds of hours sorting through all the mis-information out there by simply reading "Stop Your Depression Now!"

  • Find the best treatment for your personality. All treatments are not created equal. Treatments that do wonders for others may do absolutely nothing for you.

  • Get the lowdown on what to expect from antidepressant medications. You'll be informed and able to insist on the right prescription for you.

  • The truth about depression is made clear: that it can strike anybody at any time and it is definitely NOT a form of weakness. It helps when you can understand the symptoms and recognize what is happening to you.

    Sharon uses some well-chosen real-life stories to illustrate how real people came to understand their illness and thus she demonstrates that your symptoms also happen to other people and you are not alone or unusual.

    The conclusion is supportive - depression can be treated and there are ways you can strengthen that treatment and all the other areas of your life.

    All in all a very valuable contribution to this condition that affects too many people.

    Friday, September 20, 2013

    How to Avoid Post Breakup Depression - Top 10 Tips

    It takes one second to fall in love but it takes a whole life to forget about someone you loved. Falling in love is a beautiful thing but keeping the flame of love ignited is something you need to work on.
    What happens if you failed to continue your relationship for one reason or another? You need to learn how to avoid post-breakup depression.

    And as we all know, this is not something you can learn in a school or a college. There is no post-breakup curriculum that you can take.

    People who suffer from post breakup depressions get up in the morning to find a whole new day but they do not know what to do. They do not have anything to do with the time that was given to them. They might stay at home for several days, go only to work where they do not talk to anyone unless they were told to, and they end up at their places watching anything on TV and eating junk food.

    Some of them might become suicidal; they can have obsessions or intention to commit suicide. They might lose interest for the little joys in life and they might become unimportant to them.

    Post-breakup depression is something you have to fight. If you have some of these symptoms above you owe yourself to start measures to avoid being alone and depressed. Here we are going to discuss 10 hints to make you stronger when you start fighting your post-breakup depression.

    1- Do not hide your true feelings; find a close friend, a family member to express your feelings to.
    2- Do not ever beg your ex to come back to you.
    3- Do not picture yourself as a victim of love.
    4- Get rid of all your ex's belongings, if you have anything in your place that reminds you of your ex, pack them and put them in the attic. Ask your ex to come and take his/her toothbrush, t-shirt or anything that s/he had left in your place.
    5- Do not forget to return his/her ring if you were engaged.
    6- Read news and see how the world out there is suffering from wars, floods, diseases or natural disasters. Feel the gratitude for all the blessing that you enjoy every day and night.
    7- Concentrate on productivity in your work.
    8- Try voluntary work, help your family or try to give a hand to someone in need. This will help boost your self esteem and will make you proud of what you do.
    9- Do not hate other men or women because your ex has left you and remember everyone is unique. You might find your perfect match in the next person you meet.
    10- Go out with friends, go to new places, get a vacation or try this new restaurant in town. Get a new hobby, outfit or a haircut.

    As they say time heals all the wounds. But you need to work on ending the breakup depression because you deserve to get yourself out of this emotional turmoil. Do not wait for someone to save you. Be positive and start saving yourself and the others.

    Depression Symptoms and Medication

    Difficult to diagnose with exactitude and difficult to cure, depression is a serious condition that can have profound negative results on the patient and those around him. The complexity of the problem depends on the fact that you cannot base the symptom of depression solely on pathology (whose field would be of total competence of the medicine), but of an existential situation in which more elements interlace one pathological psychical state (psychical member) * wrong choices in life (existential member) * the experience of negative situations (reactive member). Each patient displays a different symptom of depression.

    Reactive and non-reactive conditions

    From the medical point of view, a symptom of depression is one factor highlighted by a reduction of the psychical activities, inability to plan the future, anxiety. It can be reactive or non-reactive and different depression treatments have to be chosen according to this. Reactive depression is a result of a negative experience and the chosen depression medication must take this factor into account. Depressions must be separated on an organic base (caused from other diseases, such as thyroid problems, neurological degeneration etc.) and those caused by drugs.

    Depression medication

    During any form of depression treatment, continuity in taking the medication is essential. A pause of days or weeks in taking depression medication can have serious effects on the success of the clinical depression treatment. Support from family and friends also comes in as one of your best allies when you are fighting against depression. Anxiety depression medication, however, has to be administered in relation to the particular disturbances, enumerated below:

    Disturbances of anxiety depression

    · Disturbance of generalized anxiety: Cognitive-behavioral therapy, Antidepressants, Benzodiazepine.

    · Disturbance from Attacks of Panic: Behavioral cognitive therapy, Antidepressant.

    · Agoraphobia: Exposure graduates them.

    · Social Phobia: behavioral cognitive therapy, social skills training, Antidepressants, topical anxiety depression treatments.

    · Compulsive obsessive disturbance: Behavioral therapy (exposure and prevention of the answer), Therapy Rations them Emotional, Inhibitors of the reception of the serotonine.

    · Traumatic Post disturbance from Stress: Behavioral cognitive therapy (exposure, training of management of the anxiety, cognitive therapy), antidepressants.

    Future of Depression Treatment - What Lies Ahead?

    Today I'm looking into the future of depression, and so far it doesn't look that good.

    Depression will become a second major cause of all deaths after a heart disease by 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) prognosis. These days depression affects all ages -toddlers, teenagers, young generation, middle-aged people and our elders.

    The symptoms of depression, I truly believe, weaken the whole body, and it becomes a vicious circle: the more you're depressed the more you're ill, the more you're ill - the more you're depressed. In fact, there is some research looking into the connection between the inflammatory disorders (for example, rheumatoid arthritis, hay fever, atherosclerosis) and depression, especially bipolar disorder. The thought is to try and see if immunotherapy will help in both cases.

    So, what lies ahead for the future of depression treatment?

    - The scientists are researching the gene behind the depression. The idea is simple - to try new medications first and adjust the dose on this gene, instead of going through months of different antidepressants in hope that one of them will work for the patient.

    - ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy or shock therapy), which is given to the patients with severe depression. What happens is that you are anesthetised, then electric currents released for 40 seconds into your brain, which causes mini seizures, which in turn help releasing a lot of neurotransmitters into your brain (among those serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline that improve our mood). Of course, there are side effects as well, and one of those like with all seizures is a short memory loss. The researchers now experiment with narrowing the electric waveform to improve the results.

    - TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) works a bit like ECT stimulating the release of neurotransmitters into the brain with the help of magnetic impulses similar to those in MRI scan. It still mostly in experimental stage, and I heard that the treatment costs about $ 6,000(!) requiring daily sessions for 4-6 weeks. There are mostly no side effects apart from sense of discomfort and occasional headache. Let's hope with more research the treatment will become more affordable.

    - Obviously, the antidepressant drugs are here for a long run as well. There will be more new pills, hopefully with less side effects.

    This is all I could find. If anyone knows of more research into the future of depression treatment, please, share.

    Using Drugs To Treat Bipolar Disorder In Children

    Diagnosing bipolar disorder in children is difficult. Specifically because there are no definitive physical signs that indicate bipolar disorder.

    There also is no specific test that your doctor can give to a child to determine if he is suffering from the disease. As far as testing is concerned, the best that he can do is to test for other diseases for which there are tests, and rule those diseases out, one by one, until bipolar disorder remains as the most likely cause of the child's mood swings.

    In addition, to help with his diagnosis, the doctor will want to have a detailed history of any kinds of mental problems in your family such as depression, suicides, and so on. Unfortunately, getting a diagnosis for your child may be a long and drawn out process. Unfortunately, at the present time, bipolar disorder has no cure, only treatments. So if your child is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the doctor can then recommend certain types of treatments.

    In most cases, when an adult is treated for the disease, prescribed medications are at the top of the list in preferred treatments. With children, however, you have to be extremely careful when recommending powerful drugs. For one thing, your child's body is still developing and you don't want to interfere with that process by exposing him to ill advised drugs.

    Secondly, although most of the prescribed drugs have been tested to a certain extent on adults, practically none of them have been tested extensively on children. And, finally, many of these drugs have side effects, such as weight gain or other more serious effects, that are not good for your kid.

    So, when giving your kid drugs, the best approach is to work closely with your doctor to limit the amount of medication that you are giving to your child as well as monitoring the effects of the drugs on his body. And, once your child is on medication, never stop giving him the medication without your doctor's approval. Some drugs have powerful withdrawal symptoms which can trigger even worse bipolar disorder reactions in your kid.

    In addition to prescribed medications, in many cases, therapy may be advised as well. Therapy won't cure the disease, but it can make it more manageable for the child. Therapy may involve the rest of the family as well. It can greatly help them in learning how to deal, as a group, with the disease and generally make life better for everyone in the family.

    How to Stop Feeling Depressed and Anxious

    We've all experienced depression at one point in our life. There are many different levels of depression. Extreme depression can be totally disabling. Don't let depression rule your life. Most people will experience some kind of bad feelings during their life. You do not have to let depression run your life.

    There are many types of the blues. If you suffer from major depression, you know how hard it is. It's extremely hard to get rid of major depression. A person with who's really down in the dumps often loses interest in things. Dysthymia a type of chronic depression that effects women more than men. It is thought that it is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. It's normal to lose interest and an overall terrible feeling takes over. If you have this sort of depression it's a good idea to talk to someone. Get yourself to a therapist and dive into self help books. We have to learn how to stop feeling depression.

    Tomorrow is always a new day. If you've had a tough past, it might leave a real sting. There are tons of people out there who care and would love to help you. Find people you can talk to. There's a lot of love out there in the world and you should go and seek it out. There are some amazing therapists out there who sincerely understand what you're going through. Guilt will destroy you if you let it. Regret, resentment and shame are total killers. Decide right now to let that all go. The future your choice.

    Foods That Help Fight Depression - The Three Best Foods For When You Are Feeling Depressed

    First eliminate foods and long-term stress that can reduce your serotonin levels which lead to depression. Stimulants like caffeine, sugar and refined carbohydrates (sweets, white bread and rice) should be avoided if not eliminated.

    Can foods help you fight depression? Yes they can and here's why. Certain foods help to produce serotonin, which is what prescription drugs do in essence, but prescription medications aren't utilized by the human body the same as natural food sources and that is one reason there are so many side effects associated with them.

    The three top foods that help fight depression are;

    1. Fish, especially salmon, contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that people who are prone to depression have lower levels of this important nutrient which also helps increase serotonin. Taking supplements can also lower cholesterol and help your cardiovascular health. Other foods that contain high amounts of the fatty acid EPA are walnuts, flax and chia seeds.

    2. Brown Rice contains high amounts of the B complex vitamins, especially B-1, B-3 and folic acid. Research has shown that if people have low levels of the B vitamins and higher levels of homocysteine they become depressed more often. Folic acid, vitamin B2, B6, and B12 have all been shown to decrease levels of homocysteine. Brown rice is a low glycemic food so it prevents mood swings associated with sugar spikes.

    3. Meat contains high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan needed by the brain to make serotonin. The meat doesn't have to be red meat you can also get tryptophan from fish, legumes, turkey, soy, almonds and eggs.

    Don't limit yourself to just the top three best foods for depression, you can also improve your health and ease your depression with the following:

    1. Low levels of vitamin D3 have been shown to be associated with mental disorders and depression. A simple test can reveal whether you need supplementation. It turns out a large percentage of us are deficient, especially if we don't get enough sunshine. Foods high in Vitamin D3 are salmon, mackerel, sardines, egg yolks, beef liver, milk that has been fortified and cod liver oil. Most doctors recommend 2000 to 5000iu daily.

    2. B vitamins are also found in chicken, corn, eggs, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, legumes, meat, nuts, peas, sunflower seeds, and nutritional yeast (great sprinkled on popcorn). If you take supplements make sure it is a B-complex which contains all the B vitamins.

    3. Whole grains like quinoa, kamut and oats help fight against blood sugar lows unlike white flour and help lower cholesterol.

    4. Exercise or physical activity can prevent and treat depression. Did you know that exercise has been shown to be as successful as taking Prozac for depression?

    Try food sources first for depression rather than strong prescription drugs. If you feel you may need more assistance there are some herbal remedies available that have proven to help with depression. Ashwagandha an Indian herbal remedy helps with anxiety and mood. Rhodiola or arctic root is another herb that aids focus, mood and concentration.

    Depression can become severe with thoughts of suicide, in which case, it is best to find a health practitioner who can give you all your available options, including natural treatments like herbal remedies, stress management, medications if needed and therapy.

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Magnesium - The Miracle Mineral

    Most Americans today are well informed of the importance of calcium in the body. Few, however, are aware of the need for magnesium, an essential mineral which has a close relationship with calcium. In fact, calcium and magnesium are both necessary for strong bones and teeth. Showing that, without magnesium, calcium alone would be useless.

    Magnesium makes up about.05% of the average person's body weight. Sixty percent of this is found in the bones, while about 28% is found in the soft tissues of the liver and muscles - including the heart. Magnesium is the second most abundant intracellular cation in the body, involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions involving glucose, fat and protein among many others.

    What does that tell us about magnesium? Numerous studies have been conducted on the effect of magnesium on the body. In a study reported in the American Journal of Cardiology, 20% of patients with a trial fibrillation had a magnesium deficiency. In a study conducted in South Africa, a ten percent reduction in deaths caused by coronary heart disease was shown for every six milligrams per liter of magnesium in the water levels. In Oklahoma City, patients with low magnesium in their blood required more drugs to control hypertension that those with normal magnesium levels. Twenty patients receiving long term diuretics in Umea, Sweden, were given 345mg. a day of magnesium. After six months, nineteen of the twenty showed a drop in blood pressure.

    Without the proper levels of magnesium in the body, results can be painful and destructive. The earliest symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mental changes, irritability and seizures. Magnesium deficiencies may cause calcium deposits in muscles and kidney - often resulting in painful kidney stones. A deficiency in magnesium leads to the constriction of blood vessels as well as reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood. Germ life multiplies; intestinal putrification products build up; Schizophrenic tendencies, borderline insanity, neuroses and manic depressive disturbance may occur.

    As a treatment option, magnesium can do many wonderful things. In combination with calcium, magnesium is useful in reducing hypertension. A diet high in magnesium may prevent heart attacks and heart disease and improve cholesterol. Magnesium can be used to treat PMS, prevent kidney stones, fight depression, prevent premature labor, aid the treatment of nervous disorders, and treat diarrhea, vomiting and indigestion. A combination of magnesium - vitamin B6 therapy is often used to treat patients with Autism. Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome often respond favorably to magnesium supplementation. Magnesium can also be used to calm nerves, make the body more flexible, induce restful sleep, and cool the body. Other benefits from magnesium supplementation include the following: It purifies the body tissues and prevents phosphates from depositing in joints, which may lead to arthritis, bone complications, and gout. Magnesium has also been proven to cool the liver, sooth nerve endings, prevent motor nerve contractions, end neurotic cramps and mellow the temper.

    Magnesium is found in many food sources such as savory cabbage, dandelions, nettles, rye, barley, whole wheat, walnuts and almonds. The best food sources are whole grains and legumes. However, even if you believe you are eating plenty of magnesium-rich foods, you may still be deficient. Over 80% of magnesium is lost in the process of making refined white and enriched flours. Certain chemical additives used to keep frozen vegetables bright strip the food of its magnesium. In addition, there are many chemicals which deplete the body of magnesium. Diuretics and alcohol deplete what magnesium stores, while caffeine increases the excretion of magnesium, and phosphates, widely available in soft drinks, bind magnesium in the bowel and prevent its absorption. It is essential, furthermore, that one have sufficient calcium, vitamin C, and protein in order to absorb magnesium.

    People with certain diseases are especially prone to magnesium deficiency, including patients with diabetes mellitus. Postmenopausal women and alcoholics are especially prone to osteoporosis caused by a lack of magnesium. The only sure way to be confident that your body has sufficient magnesium is by magnesium supplementation, preferably by using a liquid source that is easily absorbed into the body's cells.

    Dysthymic Disorder Defined

    Dysthymic Disorder is comparable to chronic depression, but is not as severe as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The main symptom of this condition is an almost daily depressed mood for a minimum of two years. Low energy, changes in sleeping and eating habits and low self-worth are generally on the list of the clinical symptoms as well.

    The following behaviors are also connected with someone who has Dysthymic Disorder:

    1) Changes in Thinking - Many folks experience difficulty with concentrating and making decisions. Some people have difficulty with their short term memory. Negativity, poor self-esteem, too much guilt, and self-criticism are common as well.

    2) Changes in Feelings - A number of folks say they feel gloomy for no good reason or that they no longer like activities they once found to be pleasing. Some feel exhausted and run down constantly. At times irritability and a short-temper are issues as well. Frequently, Dysthymic disorder brings on feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

    3) Becoming Reclusive - Suddenly becoming ill at ease around other folks. Some people experience a change in appetite - either overeating or losing their appetite. Unremitting sadness and weeping jags are not uncommon. And others may blow up in anger unexpectedly for reasons unknown at others, grumble about every little thing. Loss of sexual appetite and - in extreme cases - some folks stop bathing and brushing their hair for weeks.

    4) Changes in Physical Well-being - unremitting fatigue is common, despite spending more hours sleeping... Some folks can't fall asleep, or don't sleep well. They lay awake for hours, or awaken several times in the night. Others sleep lots of hours, even most of the day, but still feel tired. A number of people lose their appetite, feel slowed down by depression, and complain of a variety of aches and pains.

    Treating Dysthymic Disorder

    Psychiatric treatment is often good at treating the symptoms of Dysthymic Disorder - in spite of its obvious long-term nature. Some people get better with antidepressant medication and psychiatric treatment together - similar to traditional chronic depression treatments.

    Second, cognitive therapy is used to amend the pessimistic ideas, foolish expectations, and excessive self-criticism that not only cause the depression but help to prolong it. Cognitive therapy can help a depressed person be able to identify which of life's problems are serious and which are minor. Plus it helps them learn how to deal with and accept those normal life setbacks that inevitably arise from time to time - which can't be changed and have to be faced.

    Third, problem solving therapy is frequently needed to adjust the parts of the individual's life that are causing considerable stress, and contributing to the depression. The ultimate purpose of behavioral therapy is to help the patient cultivate better coping techniques, while interpersonal therapy can help them in working with and resolving their relationship conflicts.

    How to Identify Symptoms of Stress in Men

    Whether young or old, married or single, men experience stress. They can experience stress coming from issues about family, spouse, work, studies, colleagues, and others. In fact, nobody cannot experience stress. In one way or another, we will all experience stress. But the difference lies in how we manage stress. Will we use it to become better persons? Or will we fall victims to stress and let it rule our lives?

    In order to properly manage stress, you must be able to identify it first. What are the different symptoms of stress in men?

    There are so many possible symptoms of stress in men. These are classified as physical symptoms, behavioral symptoms, emotional symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.

    Physical symptoms of stress in men can be any of the following: chest pain, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, fatigue, decreased or increased sex drive, muscle pain, headaches, dizziness, clenched jaws, teeth grinding, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, perspiration, stomach cramps, unexplained weight gain or loss, and skin problems. As you can see, physical symptoms of stress in men can also be symptoms of another disease. Therefore, if you experience these, visit your doctor for the correct diagnosis.

    Behavioral symptoms in men are usually the very first signs that something is wrong. Consciously or unconsciously, men exhibit these behavioral changes because of stress. Examples of behavioral symptoms are decreased or increased appetite, too much or too little sleep, neglecting responsibilities, becoming a procrastinator, isolating yourself from other people, nervous habits (pacing, nail biting, etc.), and use of drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol.

    There are also emotional symptoms of stress in men. And like behavioral symptoms, these are also one of the first signs of stress in men. Emotional symptoms are short temper, irritability, mood changes, feeling of isolation, sense of loneliness, depression, feeling of insecurity, general feeling of unhappiness, and feeling of overwhelmed.

    Cognitive symptoms of stress in men can be problems with concentration, poor judgment, memory problems, pessimism, anxiety, and constant worrying.

    These are the different ways that can help you in identifying stress in men. If you experience any of these, visit your doctor so that the accurate diagnosis is made. Or if you observe any of these symptoms in your friend, husband, sibling, or child, try talking to him and encourage him to visit the doctor.

    Symptoms of stress in men can result to bigger problems if this is not managed. For instance, withdrawal and isolation can lead to depression. And depression is the number one cause of suicide. In the workplace, stress can result to decreased productivity which, in turn, can lead to losing one's job. Stress can also affect your relationships. Therefore, the best thing to do after identifying that you are under stress is to learn stress relief techniques.

    Physical Symptoms of Severe Depression

    Depression symptoms are a mental illness. However, it could affect your body system along with your mind and it can cause insomnia. This is one of the symptoms of severe depression. However, there are different physical symptoms of severe depression. I will be mentioning some visible symptoms that most individuals suffer. The upper body discomfort could be an indication of a cardiovascular or lung problem. Once you start to feel this type of pain, I will advise you to see your doctor to eliminate any significant cause. Most times this chest pain could be a signal of depressive disorders.

    This illness will put your heart at the risk of heart disease. In addition, you might end up having stroke. This symptom is the early stage of severe depression, which you must avoid in order to ensure a healthy body system. Muscle pain and depression are close to each other, you can easily link them together. Living with persistent pain might raise the possibility of suffering from severe depression. Sometimes, when you are depressed you feel pain, so individuals that are prone to chronic pain will surely suffer from severe depression.

    Digestive Problems

    Digestive problem is also another symptom of sever depression. Our digestive system and brain are also linked together. Once our mind is not at rest, our digestive systems will begin to function wrongly which is why a lot of us acquire belly pain or feeling sick when we're pressured or anxious. Below are some digestive problems that you can acquire while you are going through the earlier stage of this illness.

    • Feeling sick

    • Indigestion

    • Irregularity of bowel

    With these symptoms, you should start to prepare yourself ahead in-order to prevent the possibility of severe depression and some individuals with depression usually complain of severe headache or migraines. According to research, it has been said that most people with chronic depression are prone to possess migraines and these individuals are likely to end up with the advanced stage of this illness if they don't take good care of themselves.

    Changes In Weight

    Some individuals find it very hard to eat and other won't be able to stop eating. At this point, some individuals will end up losing weight while some individuals will end up adding weight. Severe depression has been linked to eating disorders like anorexia etc. Most time, women go through a lot when it comes to depression and anorexia. Below are some intense body pain that are symptoms of depression.

    • Spin pain

    • Back pain

    • Severe pain in the neck

    Sexual dysfunctions If you are depressed, your appetite for sex will be reduced, or you might end not disliking sex totally. In conclusion, symptoms of severe depression will have a negative effect on sexual life. People who are depressed is more likely to use alcohol or some drugs that have to do with sexual energy, which might not work perfectly. I will advise you to talk to your doctor once you start noticing these physical symptoms to help prevent malfunction of your general body system.

    Depression Treatment with Chinese Medicines

    Chinese medicine has long been used as an alternative way of treating diseases. There are herbs and Chinese treatment methods that are deemed to be very effective for certain types of diseases. And right now, Chinese medicines are used to treat depression and other types of mental and behavioral problems as well.

    Chinese medicine is currently used for specific depression cases such as dysthymic disorder, bipolar depression, and seasonal affective disorders. Of all the types of Chinese medicines and procedures used, acupuncture is the most popular. Today, acupuncture is offered not only in countries with Chinese heritage but in the western world as well. And this alternative way of treating diseases was very much welcomed by the Europeans and the Americans.

    Cure Depression With Qi Gong

    Qi gong is actually a type of a Chinese exercise routine that can greatly help a person suffering from depression. The routine is composed of gentle, slow, and rhythmic movements that induce relaxation. The movements are also known to reduce the symptoms of depression.

    Herbal Treatment for Depression with Mood Smooth

    Mood Smooth is Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan. This Chinese herbal supplement has been around in the past 600 years. The Chinese call them happy pill, as it can magically make a depressed person feel happier. Prozac is the today's most popular medicine for depression. Jia Wei Xiao Yao is the Chinese counterpart of that drug.

    Natural Cure for Depression with Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is widely used to treat depression, not only in China but in the Western countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. as well. To treat depression through acupuncture, the points of the pericardium and the heart are focused on. For acupuncture to be more effective, a the Chinese medicine practitioner would have to evaluate the patient first so that he'll know the main root of the depression and perform the right techniques.

    Natural Herbal Cure for Depression with Yang Tonic

    To treat depression, the Yang Tonic for the Kidneys is usually prescribed. The Yang Tonic is a nourishing formula for the kidneys and can address the different levels of depression in a patient. The Yang Tonic is composed of different herbal medicines such as Fu Zi, Gui Zhi, Ze Xie, and Fu Ling, among many others.

    In Chinese, depression is referred to as the Yu Syndrome. It is directly related to restlessness or Zang Zao. In this discipline, depression is defined as the abnormal harboring of emotions that leads to the stagnant flow of Qi. As such, depressed individuals are very unhappy, crying all the time, not talking much, and spending time by themselves. These common signs of depression are further classified in traditional Chinese medicine as depression due to the deficiency of the spleen and the heart, depression due to the disturbance of the mind, and depression due to Yin deficiency.
    If depression is caused by the disruption of the mind's normal processes, then the Chinese medicine normally used to address the condition is Gan Mai Dazao Tang. This concoction is a collection of different Chinese herbs such as licorice, gancao, longchi, and fushen, among many others.

    If both the heart and the spleen are the main causes of depression, then the treatment procedure is primarily directed to build up the spleen and replenish the blood. Building up the spleen would lead to the reinforcement of the Qi. Replenishing the blood, on the other hand, would nourish the heart. In these cases, the Gui Pi Tang decoction is the best Chinese medicine to use.

    When Yin deficiency is the main cause of depression, other consequences normally show. Palpitation, dizziness, insomia, irritability, tinnitus, and hot temperedness are just a few examples. To nourish the Yin is to clear away heat. And that would also calm the mind and the body. To achieve that state of relaxation, the Chinese medicine commonly prescribed is Liu Wei Dihuang Wan. Taking this decoction would definitely relieve you of all the symptoms of depression in no time.

    What Are The Non Medication Treatments For Depression In Bipolar?

    It is a common question amongst bipolar sufferers and their loved ones. What are non medication treatments for depression in bipolar? Are there any? Popular belief is that bipolar disorder can only be controlled by a lifetime regime of strong medication.

    The answer to the question is a resounding yes. Several non-medication approaches have now been shown to be of benefit when added to the conventional medications for depression in bipolar. Mood stabilizer tactics and therapies are now emerging and being slowly embraced by some mental health practitioners. Regulating daily schedules and patterns of sleep, using light therapy and implementing regular exercise programs are now included as treatments for some bipolar patients.

    Maintaining a regular daily schedule.

    One approach that is crucial for some patients with bipolar disorder is to maintain a regular daily schedule, especially regular patterns of sleep. One such therapy is organized around the daily schedule idea, in particular having a regular time to go to sleep, and a regular time to wake up and get out of bed.

    Light Therapy.

    A recent study in Canada showed that approximately 100 patients with winter affective depression were randomly assigned to Prozac or a standard light box. There was equal improvement in both groups, with the light box marginally faster in lowering depression scores. This means that the light therapy is as good as the standard antidepressant approach, but has fewer side effects and less overall risk.

    If you're not familiar with light therapy, basically one sits in front of a box the size of a small suitcase (smaller ones now available) which emits a lot of light, for about 30 minutes to start, and as little as 15 minutes or less later to stay well through the winter.

    Regular Exercise.

    The data showing that exercise can actually treat depression has been pretty good for a long while. It is well documented that depression can cause brain shrinkage, and that effective treatments can stop and at least partially reverse that shrinkage. A recent study research team at the University of Illinois compared people with an average age of 67 who were physically active to those who were less active.

    The results showed that the active elders had better mental skills and memory, and even that their brains were more active as well. They then did the crucial follow-up test: they divided a group of elders into two groups, one which participated in an aerobic exercise program, and one which did not. They have found that the group which exercised increased their brain size compared to the sedentary control group, in the brain regions which are known to shrink when people have mood problems. Extrapolating just slightly from these results, we now have preliminary evidence that exercise, like other effective antidepressants, can reverse brain shrinkage.

    Although it may be difficult for a depressed person to think about exercising, even a regular walk can have the desired effect. Most people, however depressed, can still walk. Walking has the absolute best record for easy access. The Harvard Bipolar Program leader, Dr. Sachs, says "here's your exercise program: go to the door, look at your watch. Walk 7.5 minutes in any direction, then turn around and walk home. Do that 5 days a week at least." And that's it.

    Specialized Psychotherapies For Bipolar.

    In April 2007 a major research program published their results showing that when the three psychotherapies listed below were added to mood stabilizer treatment for bipolar patients experiencing significant depression, the patients recovered more quickly and more were likely to stay well.

    o Bipolar-specific cognitive behavioral therapy

    o Interpersonal therapy with social rhythm therapy

    o Family-focused therapy (for patients with family who could join in treatment)

    The problem is finding a therapist who can provide one of these treatments. Currently, these psychotherapies are primarily found in large treatment programs that have adopted one or more of the new methods. For those interested in sourcing a sympathetic therapist, the internet is a good place to start.

    There is no doubt that the non medication treatments for depression in bipolar are making a difference to the quality of life for some bipolar sufferers. They are able to wean off high doses of antidepressants, and also benefit from the positive side effects of good sleep patterns, exercise and light therapy.

    References: Excerpts from information provided by Jim Phelps MD at (Quality Mental Health Information On Specific Topics)

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    Is Your Focus on the Target or the Prize?

    In his book, Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality, Anthony De Mello quotes Chinese sage Tranxu: "When the archer shoots for no particular prize, he has all his skills; when he shoots to win a brass buckle, he is already nervous; when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind, sees two targets, and is out of his mind. His skill has not changed, but the prize divides him. He cares! He thinks more of winning than of shooting, and the need to win drains him of power."

    This is a conundrum for many, though its presence usually escapes our awareness. This can happen in a variety of ways. Here are two examples.


    Say you feel a financial pinch (or not) and decide to offer a product, service, or workshop. Maybe it is something you already created or you create something new. The Prize is how much money you might get; perhaps, even recognition and referrals. Your Target is to provide something that solves a problem for people or enhances their lives. Re-read Tranxu's words and think about how this might affect your energy, attitude, actions, and ultimate results in such a situation.

    Are you relaxed and confident about using your skills, talents, or knowledge to assist others, with serving them as one motivator and growing yourself as another? If so, whatever your initial results are, they will expand. You will expand.

    If your eyes (emotional energies) are on the prize, you will contract instead of expand. Your potential clients or customers will contract away from you, and so will your desired results. You will focus on aspects that lead you away from your true path.

    Let go of any tendency to compare yourself and your desired results to others and their results, as this is another form of Eyes on the Prize.


    Consider the difference between having your target be a loving, joyful relationship with your right partner, and allowing that to arrive and unfold in your life vs. considering a specific individual as your prize. How will you think, feel, speak, and act in the first scenario vs. the second? Which scenario is imbued with ease and which with emotional upset and drama?

    You could say a true target leads to expansion of your inner knowing and larger awareness. This type of focus results in not just some or many sought-after prizes coming to you, but inner and outer gifts from the Universe arrive, as well. These gifts are not rewards; they are results of Cause and Effect, according to the laws of the spiritual universe.

    If your target is to BE more, which causes you to offer and contribute more, you will focus on what helps you create this. Results will come to you because this is how IT works.

    You can certainly be aware your desired prize is out there and still put your primary focus on your true target. If your focus is primarily on the prize, you can bet you will experience one or more of these: worry, anxiety, jealousy, lack of confidence (or arrogance), overwork, loss of energy, depression, loss of sleep, money fears, harsh self-judgment, and the list goes on. Your results will be less than desired or none, because this is also according to the laws of the spiritual universe.

    This Target or Prize focus can be applied to anything in your life. It is a good question to ask whenever you feel any emotions other than serenity, confidence, or happiness. But, it is also important to identify your True Target, which is always an inner one. Inner always creates outer. Outer always reflects inner.

    You are what you practice.
    穢 Joyce Shafer

    You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

    10 Ways to Lessen Depression Symptoms

    Let's just face it. Depression sucks! I know this firsthand. I know the highs and lows while keeping a full-time job and trying to raise a normal child. I suffered from anorexia, bulimia nervosa, and alcoholism. I've been in and out of therapy. It took me years to realize and fully understand the damage my mother caused. I never directly experienced physical abuse, but if I did not do what she asked, she would hurt herself in front of me. Emotional abuse is very traumatic and difficult to overcome. I have learned several ways to help me get out of a low period, and I'm here to share 10 of my tips in hopes of helping others through their depression.

    1. Accept your feelings. Don't ignore them. Don't run away, or your feelings can escalate.

    2. Figure out the cause. Learn your triggers and always be aware of them. I have several triggers- a picture of my mother, the Holidays, someone asking me for her without knowing my story, a woman yelling, seeing a mother and daughter laughing together, someone making a decision for me, etc. These triggers took me years to figure out. You must know what will send you spiraling down. It's kind of like listening to the weather report. If you don't listen to it, then you won't know whether to wear a jacket the next day or not.

    3. Be grateful. Start thinking of all the things you do have as opposed to the things you don't have. I made a list and put it on my refrigerator door. When I feel low, instead of reaching for a piece of cake, I read my list. It usually stops me from eating the forbidden foods.

    4. Feel the sadness. Allow yourself to feel sad. If it's OK to feel happy, then it's OK to feel sadness. They are both natural emotions. Don't be afraid of it, or you will bottle it up. I used to ignore my sadness so much that I would later cry for days. Let this emotion out in a safe place and in a safe way.

    5. Get moving. Go for a run, go to the gym. Even if you don't want to, force yourself to do it. Many studies have shown that exercise can lessen the symptoms of depression. There are additional cardiovascular benefits and reduction of other serious diseases. It's a win-win situation.

    6. Trust someone. Talk this out with someone you trust. Depression is something serious. Don't try to do this alone. You must be willing to listen to other people. If you think there is NO ONE in the world who can understand you, you're wrong. You're simply resisting. It took me years to find my therapist. It didn't mean the other therapists weren't any good. I just connected more with my now therapist.

    7. Go outside. Sun does wonders for uplifting your spirits. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects 4 to 6 percent of the US population, according to the Cleveland Clinic. SAD usually causes depression during the winter and autumn months. It will then go away when the sun returns.

    8. Put these emotions into something productive. I write. That's my let out. My therapist once told me to bake and pound bread. Some people do kickboxing, journal, painting, etc. Find your let out.

    9. Laughter is the best medicine. I read funny jokes. Watch a funny movie or an episode of the Simpsons or Family Guy.

    10. Relax/ meditate. I pray quite a bit. It's not for everyone, but it's a form of mediation. Try yoga or just being still for 1 minute and listening to your body's energy.

    I still have some very low periods, but they have gotten better. I have to constantly be aware of my emotions, and that's a lot of work. I'd rather do the work than feel the cloud of depression. I hope these tips help you or a loved one suffering from depression.

    Depression Natural Cure - Really a Reality?

    Look around the world today. No matter where you live or what you do you are bound to know someone who either has or is suffering from depression. As sad as it is many of these people are not receiving the treatment that they need. Old taboos still hold some people from getting the help they desperately need. They are embarrassed and ashamed of the illness that has befell them but there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Clinical depression strikes every race and sex on earth. Millions of people are forced to find ways to cope with mental illness. Currently there are a number of treatments available and a depression natural cure is fast catching on.

    The first treatment that many people think of when they think of clinical depression is probably antidepressants. This has been the accepted treatment for clinical depression for many years but with new studies come new answers. Several studies being conducted are pointing to a natural remedy for depression. For example certain parts of Europe have been prescribing St John's Wort as a depression treatment for years with promising results. St John's Wort is an herb that grows naturally in many different parts of the world.

    In clinical studies patients suffering from mild forms of depression who were treated with St John's Wort showed significantly more positive results than those taking the placebo treatment. In fact, many patients treated with this natural treatment showed results comparable or greater than the patients taking prescription antidepressants. In patients taking St John's Wort less side effects were reported and of those reported they were mild. At this time, no results are available on how patients suffering from more severe forms of clinical depression such as bipolar depression would react to St John's Wort.

    Natural herbs are not the only depression natural cure. Many people will turn to therapy when battling this illness. Therapy can consist of many different things but one thing to keep in mind is experts agree that a emotional as well as physical support network is one of the strongest factors in overcoming clinical depression. Therapy can be prescribed by a health care professional although for many people depression self help groups are an alternative answer. Self help groups usually consist of other people who are either suffering or have suffered from clinical depression. Clinical depression can be one of the hardest things a person could ever go through in life and without battling the illness themselves it is nearly impossible for someone to understand what it is like. This gives these types of support groups the added benefit of a likeness. Everyone can feel comfortable knowing everyone else can empathize with what they are going through.

    If you are suffering from depression it is important to get help. Whether you choose to take a natural route or you prefer to seek professional help, take action. Depression does not fix itself and sadly it will not just go away. It is a fight that will continue to be fought day in and day out but with the right help it is completely possible to hold depression in check and lead a normal life.

    Neutralize Negative Self Talk Before it Paralyzes You

    Who is the most influential person in our life?

    We ourselves! There is no other individual who has greater influence than we ourselves. We influence ourselves all the time by engaging in self talk. The way we talk and the words we say to ourselves have a far reaching effect than what we can imagine.

    Listen to the following self talk by an insurance agent:

    "I shouldn't have said that to my prospect! What a fool I was! My boss drives me crazy. I'll never achieve this month's sales target. I might as well quit!"

    Probably it does not take too long for you to form an image of a tired, lethargic, gloomy, miserable or helpless person which is a sad sight to behold. You will feel your energy sap away by the depressed looks.

    It is not common for an insurance agent to say something like this to himself since insurance agents always deal with the harsh reality that they listen to more "no" than "yes". Every "no" can be a hard blow to take and sometimes this may lead to emotional injury that requires time to heal.

    Negative self-talk brings about anger, depression, pessimism, guilt, fear, and anxiety. On the other hand, emotional turbulence may also spark off negative self talk. It is like a vicious circle.

    Negative self talk is as toxic as factory waste and as harmful as plague that requires immediate treatment. There are a number of ways to eliminate negative self talk:

    (a) Reword, rephrase and reverse

    Reword, rephrase and reverse the words used in negative self talk. Eliminate "apostrophe t" from disabling words such as "can't", "couldn't", "wouldn't" etc. Turn "what if" into "I am going to", turn "I don't know" into "Let me find out", turn "I doubt" into "I belief".

    (b) Shift the time paradigm

    Negative self talk focuses on past bitter experience and painful memories. Fast forward the time to imagine actions being taken to resolve the problem. Visualize the possibilities that are taking place in a near future. Instead of seeing failure, we see success.

    (c) Be associated with positive thinkers

    Be inspired by positive thinkers who embrace challenges with smiles and confidence. Be hyped up by their radiating vigor. Learn to glow with enthusiasm and give a pad on your shoulder to give yourself assurance that things are going to be alright.

    (d) Unplug from negative environment

    Detach yourself from stress infested environment. Unplug yourself from the surrounding that breeds negative emotions. Walk out of the problems that chain your soul. Get some fresh air. Let some panoramic view unfold before your eyes. Change of environment can lift the spirit.

    (e) Get positive vibration from motivational songs

    Motivational songs can be inspirational and uplifting. Our mood can swing from being melancholic to being jovial and happy just by playing the right kind of music. Be stirred up by upbeat music. Let stimulating music disintegrate your negative self talk.

    (f) Read motivational quotes

    Rediscover your mission and vision by submerging yourself in powerful and inspirational phrases by great leaders in different fields. Stand on the shoulders of giants so that you can see farther.

    (g) Light activities

    Free your mind of any thinking by carrying out some simple activities such as taking a deep breath or getting a drink of water etc to interrupt your train of thought. Take a walk and by the time you are back, the negative self talk would have disappeared into the thin air.

    (h) Affirmations

    Reprogram your mind by repeating positive affirmations to reinforce and strengthen your confidence and self esteem. Think of some past achievements that you can use to endorse your capability and empower yourself to overcome fear and scale new heights

    Negative Self Talk is our evil twin that is programmed to sabotage our success. Your most formidable enemy probably is Negative Self Talk, the enemy within you. If you don't have enemy within, enemies outside won't harm you.

    The 5 Advantages of Becoming an Entrepreneur That Made Me Quit My Job

    The Advantages of Becoming an Entrepreneur - Why I Decided to Quit my Secure Job.

    Among the many advantages of becoming an entrepreneur, 5 were directly responsible of my jump from a secure job to my entrepreneurial adventure. Four of these advantages can be summed up in one word: Freedom. The fifth one is, according to me, the most important advantage of becoming an entrepreneur.

    The first advantage of becoming an entrepreneur: Financial freedom

    The first and maybe most obvious reason why I started to dream about becoming an entrepreneur was money. You see, I grew up being told that I had to study long and hard to get a good, secure and well-paid job. So I ended up having a bachelor degree and a master degree, ready to receive the all the hard earned money I thought my academic degrees would get me. After all, I studied long and hard and accumulated huge student debts in the process, I would obviously be gratified with a really good salary, right? Wrong! As I got into the market, I soon realized that some friends with basic high school were paid nearly as much as I was! Even worse, they got out of school 6 or 7 years before me so they didn't have debts and were able to accumulate a fair amount of money. I realized that basic demand vs. offer was much more important to get well paid than a master degree. This is when I began to read about all the advantages of becoming an entrepreneur. I didn't take me too much time to realize that almost if not all the really rich people were entrepreneurs. Many had college degrees, many didn't. The only important thing were their ability to identify market demands and to answer these demands with great value. If I could rapidly give the market enough value, in enough quantity, to answer its needs or wants, I would get rich. I would get out of debts much more quickly than by holding on to a secure job that would only get me a tiny raise every year. Getting rich quickly was the main advantage of becoming an entrepreneur that motivated me to quit my secure job. In fact, the only way to get more money by staying an employee would have been to get old! I could have changed the world, I wouldn't have matter to my boss... the only way to earn more was to get older. The advantage of becoming an entrepreneur is that it doesn't matter that you are 25, 40, or 60 years old or that you have a college degree or not. If you have a really brilliant idea, you will benefit from it.

    The second advantage of becoming an entrepreneur: Time freedom

    This advantage really struck me after becoming an entrepreneur. If I needed to sleep a little more because I had a bad night (a little bit of insomnia is part of the disadvantages of becoming an entrepreneur), I could. If I needed to meet someone for my business, I would set the meeting outside of rush hours so I could get there in few minutes instead of an hour. I recently calculated that the mere fact of becoming an entrepreneur had the advantage of freeing almost 7 to 8 hours each week, only because of traffic! That's a whole day of work every week that I can use to create more business profit, go to the gym, sleep more, or anything that will bring me more happiness or money. The last way that this advantage manifests itself is by allowing me to adapt my schedule to my wife's schedule in order to be there for important moments. The same is true for family, friends, or simply for events I would never attend if I were still an employee having to get up at 6 every morning.This is a huge advantage for me, although I didn't really thought about it before becoming an entrepreneur.

    The third advantage of becoming an entrepreneur: Freedom of location

    If you develop a good business model and have good people in place to delegate important business tasks, freedom of location could also be one of the advantages of becoming an entrepreneur. It may take a little while to set it up, especially if you are into a "brick and mortar" business, but it is truly possible, and not that hard. Of course, you will have to be there in person from time to time, but with good people in place you will soon get paid even when you take a day off. You will even get paid when skiing for a week or two or when visiting a country with your family. To me, this advantage of becoming an entrepreneur also means that if my wife's job gets transferred to another city, I can follow her and only come back to town from time to time.

    The fourth advantage of becoming an entrepreneur: Freedom of choosing my projects

    This advantage of becoming an entrepreneur was a real motivation to quit my job and do things on my own! Have you ever worked on a really, really boring, annoying, meaningless project that was nonetheless treated by your boss as if it were critically important? Me too! I mean, I have worked in so many places where all the minutiae and really absurd processes took at least half of my day. I think these were the moments where I felt the most urgent need to get out and become an entrepreneur. So many hours lost in debilitating processes. I honestly think that, on the long term, this kind of work could lead to issues like depression or other work related mental health issues. Think about it, being "forced" to do things that you know are unnecessary and for which you feel no gratification at all, and doing these things again and again and again. When you are becoming an entrepreneur, you have the advantage of being able to choose your projects and only work on those which are truly important or that you enjoy the most. Of course, becoming an entrepreneur necessitates that you accomplish some boring tasks. But even then, these tasks have a truly important meaning for you: they are the necessary steps for becoming an entrepreneur and living the life of your dreams! So they are relatively easy to accomplish because they mean something. The best thing is, as you are becoming a more efficient entrepreneur, you will be able to delegate these tasks to someone who like this kind of job, because everyone has their own talents and preferences.

    The most important of all advantages of becoming an entrepreneur: Becoming a Master in life.

    Above all the advantages of becoming an entrepreneur, I think this one is really the most important. After quitting a "secure" job that wasn't really that gratifying or well-paid, you succeed by your own, doing something that you are passionate about. Soon, you realize that while everyone around you was safely staying on one side of a really dark forest... you had the vision and the courage to get into the dark forest, knowing that it would bring up many fears, insecurities, and maybe pain. You did it because you knew that sooner or later, you would get through and arrive on the best side of the dark forest, where you have more money, more time, and feel more joy and satisfaction. This is the true advantage of becoming an entrepreneur. Knowing that despite all the fears you had and all the fears people tried to push on you, you went and you succeeded. The next time you'll face a challenge, you'll know you'll be able to succeed again. To me, this is the most amazing advantage of becoming an entrepreneur.

    Depression Self Help - 7 Steps to Fight Depression

    Do you suffer from occasional depression?
    Do you suffer from 'more than occasional' depression symptoms?
    Do you consider yourself your personal worst enemy?
    Do you live your existence with uncertainty, always trying to live up to the criteria others set for you?

    If you answered yes to any of above questions, you'll be interested in the following depression self help info.

    Depression (or prolonged sadness) is really a diagnosis that has become very common in the United States. It has been mentioned that more than nine percent of the United states population actually is affected with this disease. The sad truth is very few of them will actually seek treatment. As a consequence, depression and its ill-effects are a continuous weight to these poor ill-fated individuals. Depression might seem quite easy to deal with but in reality, it takes more than a little cheering up to really cure depression.

    A visit to an expert therapist is a good idea to obtain access to the prescription medications that the doctor will recommend. Of course, neither the doctor's visit nor the meds come cheap, but the amount of depression-caused suffering is enough cause to take action. It is advantageous to face depression symptoms head on through the numerous treatments which are available these days.

    On the other hand, there are less expensive procedures that a patient can undertake. We can all avail ourselves of self help treatments that fit well into any depression treatment strategy. To that end, I've detailed 7 actions that all depression symptoms sufferers should follow:

    Depression self help action #1: People can only get the best of you with your authorization.

    Don't give it to them. When you allow somebody get the best of you than you're really letting them win. In life we are faced with the joy of living life or the pain and disappointment of not living life to its fullest extent.

    Depression self help step #2: Remember that you are who you are because of you.
    Other people's perceptions of you should be discounted. At the end of your life the only important question will be: "Did you live your life as you saw fit?"

    Depression self help step #3: Determine what is important to you.
    Do you know who you are? Are you happy with your self as you are? These two questions should be answered for you personally to help make any progress.

    Depression self help step #4: Remember that you are in charge of your destiny.
    Repeat this on a regular basis: 'I am in charge of my future, and it is up to me and only me to live my life'. It is essential to establish practical targets for yourself, and do your best to fulfill them.

    Depression self help step #5: Don't become your own worst enemy.
    Occasionally it is just a matter of putting yourself first. If you are able to love somebody else, why can you not love your self? You need to realize that you're a decent person, and deserving of being loved

    Depression self help action #6: In no way lose sight of who you are, and what you stand for.
    If someone disses you simply because you don't meet their standards, it's not your issue; it's theirs. Life can be loaded with discontentment if we live every day attempting to get the approval of other people.

    Depression self help step #7: Stay true to yourself and your beliefs.
    Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself even when it can feel unpleasant, and in no way let anyone influence who you ought to be. Believe in your self, because the one individual you can rely on is you.


    So that you can successfully fight depression, you should keep your emphasis on the above steps. Having successfully done so, you'll eventually discover your depression symptoms lessening. And eventually, you'll be back to living a normal lifestyle. You'll be able to look in the mirror at the end of each day and see your best friend!

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    10 Ways to Be Happy - Exploring Some Simple Things That Can Make Us Happy

    Being happy is one of our end goals in this life that is why we dream big dreams and we strive hard to achieve something, because we want to be happy. Sometimes, we equate happiness with having much money. But what can really make us happy, and how can we be happy?

    If you are in the quest of happiness, here are 10 ways to be happy in life.

    1. Determine the things that can make you happy. Do what you love doing. Have time to enjoy your interests and passion in life. Visualize your dreams and feel the feeling of being able to reach your dreams and attain your goals.

    2. Help others. Helping others should never be absent in the list of 10 ways to be happy. Of course, helping others, sharing, and giving what you have can truly bring in joy to you and to the receiver. If you have been feeling down or you are heartbroken, go out and volunteer. You will be surprised how it will change your mood so swiftly.

    3. Take good care of your body and your health. Indeed, it can be difficult to be truly happy if your body is not well. Love yourself by loving your body. Eat right, maintain a right weight and have a healthy lifestyle. This will not only make you happier, it will also make you feel younger.

    4. Appreciate the things that you have. Be thankful. Count your blessings instead of worrying about what you don't have and what you wish you would have. Take time to look behind you and appreciate what you already have.

    5. Forgive and forget. Don't hold grudges towards the people around you. Do not dwell on the past and the hurts that were done to you. You will be happier if you forget them and move on with life.

    6. Take away unnecessary worries in your life. It may be inevitable to worry on certain things sometimes or be paranoid at times, but you don't have to worry too much on unnecessary ones.

    7. Avoid negative thinking. The negative thoughts buried deep down in our subconscious often pull us down from being happy. Be positive. Avoid negative people who always find faults in everything. Be optimistic. Positive thinking is an important tip that should always be part of your list of 10 ways to be happy with your life.

    8. Tackle life's challenges gladly and not let frustration put you down. Accept that life has indeed many challenges to overcome and you just have to accept these challenges gladly and accept frustrations as part of learning, then you can easily choose to be happy with your life.

    9. Have time to play, enjoy and have fun. Don't take life too seriously. You have to de-stress as well - take a vacation, relax, enjoy good times with friends - it helps to ease up the stress you take at work and at home and breaks the monotony in your life as well.

    10. Build happy relationships. One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to build great relationships. Make existing relationships happy by giving time to your loved ones. Happy relationships makes a happy life so treasure friendships, love your partner in life as well as your family and neighbors.

    Some Differences Between Depression and Bipolar Disorder

    Millions of people in American suffer from depression as well as bipolar disorder. Even though medication can often help, the proper diagnosis is needed to effectively both. Unfortunately, it can many times be difficult to differentiate between bipolar disorder and depression. It is common for some people to first receive the misdiagnoses of depression. With these two conditions, even medical professionals have difficulty telling them apart. If some time is taken to be educated about their feature, a determination can be made. An accurate diagnosis can then be made and proper treatment started.

    Bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic depression, is a mental condition that is characterized by unusual lows as well as highs in a persons mood. A person with this disorder experiences times when they are down, tired or generally depressed. These periods may last for a few months or many years. This is why often times it is first diagnosed as depression. The flip side of this depressed state is a period of 'mania' where some feels unusually energetic or good and does not need as much sleep. It is the manic times that make the difference between bipolar disorder and depression. Many times someone who is bipolar has periods that they feel normal and the manic periods are often unreported.

    No, how to tell if you are depressed or bipolar. That will have to be determined by a doctor and what your symptoms are. If you feel depressed or 'down', a doctor needs to be seen. Questions need to be asked like 'are there times when you are unusually happy?' and 'are there periods in life were you need less sleep than usual?' These types of questions will have to be answered to determine the correct diagnosis.

    Symptoms Of Depression - Warning Signs

    How can you tell if you're depressed? It sounds like a stupid question, but a surprising number of us may not recognize the signs of depression, although one in ten people will experience a severe depressive episode in their life. Many of us are afraid to speak of depression. This stigma exacerbates depression and is actually dangerous because it hinders many people to seek help.

    Unlike a simple physical problem like a viral infection or a fractured bone, there is no simple test for depression and the diagnosis is based on a series of symptoms. Here are eight signs that may indicate you are depressed.

    1. Weight gain or loss

    Depression can cause a total lack of interest in food, so someone can start to lose weight without even realizing it. However, the reverse can also happen: to fill the emotional void, some depressed people turn to food for comfort and thus they gain weight.

    2. Sleep Problems

    The same as with appetite, physical changes can swing between two extremes. You may find yourself suddenly tired and sleepy all day, or you can find it impossible to fall asleep. A particularly common form of sleep deprivation is when you wake up in the middle of the night, every night.

    3. Aches and pains

    Many people do not realize that depression comes with physical symptoms. Discomfort in the stomach, a weakened immune system (manifested through constant colds and flu), aches and pains throughout the body and exacerbated chronic health problems can occur in a depressive episode.

    4. Anger and irritability

    If you're constantly depressed, you can become extremely frustrated, which can sometimes manifest as anger. If you feel like you are angry on a daily basis, you may be depressed.

    5. Alcoholism

    About 40% of people with depression struggle with an alcohol problem. The use of illegal drugs and prescribed ones is also a way for some people to escape their feelings. The consumption of alcohol and drugs can also cause liver damage and lead to poor health, which can worsen the depressive episodes.

    6. Concentration problems

    Being unable to concentrate, taking three hours to do something that usually takes one and finding it difficult to formulate your thoughts in a coherent manner are also factors that accompany depression. If you constantly feel like you do not have the mental energy to perform simple tasks, it may be time to ask for help.

    7. Work-related problems

    Depression can seriously impair your ability to work. A high absenteeism rate due to an inability to wake up or get out of bed in the morning is a good example. Even missing a day or two a week, or arriving late and leaving early are common signs. Being present, but doing nothing is also a sign.

    8. Lack of libido

    A complete lack of interest in sex can be a characteristic of depression. If you are in a relationship, a total lack of commitment from your lover can make you feel even guiltier, added to a self-loathing and insecurity that can get you can even deeper into depression

    What is crucial for fighting depression successfully is to be aware of the signs and seek help and treatment as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a spiral, where you do not want to talk to anyone, which will only make things worse.